New month is a perfect time to re-evaluate our priorities and goals. If there was something you actively worked towards, take the time to assess what worked, what didn't, what you want to keep doing, what you need to let go, or what might be something new you want to try.
Why it’s important to have goals:
1. They give us focus & direction
Our brains are like toddlers with scissors. Unless we tell our mind what to do and what to focus on, it will find worries, doubts, and fears to focus on. It will go towards worst case scenarios in no time and it will keep finding what is wrong with everything. It will focus on what we don't want. And as long as we let it focus on what we don't want, it will create more of what we don't want.
When we change the focus to our goals, we tell our brains what we do want and we give it a task to figure out how to get there. Our attention isn't scattered everywhere, but is directed towards a specific idea or accomplishment. This is how goals give us direction.
2. We grow & evolve in pursuit of our goals
When we set goals, we are required to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge, and put ourselves in situations we haven't been in before. Any new goal will require of us to leave our comfort zone and challenge what we thought we were capable of. Every time we accomplish a goal, it's important to reflect on what we had to do in order to achieve it. Even if we don't achieve it, we benefit from the skills and actions we took, because no one can take away our experiences and mastery.
3. Working towards something gives us sense of competence, self-trust, and confidence is our abilities
Setting goals for ourselves always asks of us to trust ourself because no one can guarantee that we will indeed accomplish our goal. Self-trust is needed when we don't have the proof that it will work and when we are in the unknown. And from that self-trust and taking risks, we come out more confident every time.
Here's how to do it!
Write down 5 goals for this month. Writing down is important. Your brain is not mean to be your to-do list, so don't store unnecessary information in your brain and hope it will remember everything.
Now, think about and write down:
How will you need to show up in order to achieve your goals (i.e. be determined, excited, motivated, focused, persistent...)
What you will need to do to achieve them (i.e. create a plan, meet with 3 people this month, workout 5 times a week, wake up at 7, read 10 pages...)
Review your list of goals and actions every day and attempt something that will bring you closer to your goal.
Now go do it! :)
When you start creating new habits that no longer fit into your old lifestyle, you might feel as if you are pretending and faking it.
You might be worried about other people’s opinions. You might come up with reasons for why you shouldn’t follow through.
This is just your old patterns throwing a tantrum, desperately trying to pull you back to what’s familiar. Even if the familiar is disempowering and hurtful. Even if that’s not how you want to keep living. Even when it’s not supporting where you want to go.
Slow down and remind yourself:
This is who I am now.
I choose what’s good for me.
I allow myself to change.
At one point in my life, I truly believed in overnight success. I believed some people were born lucky and special, and everything came easy to them.
And I believed I wasn’t one of those people.
I hated my life and felt like a victim. In the back of my mind, I secretly hoped someone would come to save me from my circumstances and from self-loathing.
No one did.
Although actively destroying myself with bad habits and poisonous self-talk, something kept pulling me forward. I took many “wrong” turns, but my most valuable experiences and growth came from taking wrong turns and getting lost.
Throughout my journey I realized that the harder I worked, the more risks I took, and the more I allowed myself to try and fail, the more opportunities opened up and more success followed.
My identity and self-image started to shift as I began trusting in my own capabilities. I intentionally worked on letting go of many disempowering stories and beliefs I held onto.
I no longer believe in overnight success and in specialness of others.
I realized that regardless of my starting point, I am capable of achieving what I set my mind to achieve. I refuse to see myself as less capable because I am an immigrant or because I came from nothing. I refuse to let my past dictate who I can become and what I can achieve.
Believing in overnight success is an excuse that keeps people from trying. Believing it is easier for others is an excuse that prevents people from doing hard things. Holding onto these beliefs is a passive approach rooted in helplessness and a lack of trust in your own power.
The only way to truly know what you’re capable of is to allow yourself to do things yo haven’t done before, to fail, and to keep trying again.